Flat Bar Orbea

Looks weird at first, then still weird a while later. I walked into the bike shop and went, “uh, whoa, wait.” Totally stopped me and messed up my mojo for a while like I was in the Bizarro World Bike Shop.

Readers? What is this bike?

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There was some buzz when this bike was announced in the UK.  It was spec’d with disc brakes and a carbon frame.  Thing is - it’s still a REALLY heavy build.  Sort of takes the perks of carbon away.

I really don’t get the flat bar road bike thing but when I was working at a shop in SF a few years back we sold tons of them. Lots of folks would come in and order a Gunnar, SOMA or even a Waterford and want flat bars on them. On top of that, these people used them on serious rides with many of the bikes being bought for the Cal AIDS Ride (SF to LA in 7 days).

I suspect a lot of it is people not being comfortable with the deep reach of most racing-poser bikes that put the bars several inches below the saddle. Most big companies have since started speccing more sensible bike with longer head tubes and less drop yet still these flat bar bikes persist. Go figure.

Flat bars, I think starting with the “hybrid” phase on long ago, are a disservice to cyclists. I’ve got 8 hand positions of my drop bars and a flat bar has one, two with bar-end extenders. That’s possibly because flat bars are equated with an upright position.

Is there any bend/sweep to the bars at all?

Speaking of which, anyone remember back in the 80’s/90’s when some company tried marketing reverse bend (forward swept) flat bars? I think that was to make the grips perpendicular to the forearms in an elbows-out riding position. Too bad your hands don’t grip at exactly 90 degrees to your forearms.

Reminds me of my mother-in-law’s bike. She had an older Klein with a rigid fork, but my father-in-law (bike geek) wanted to get her something lighter/faster. Her physical health(a back condition) meant that a position exactly like her Klein would be best. The result was an Orbea Orca with DA brakes, XTR drivetrain, flat pedals, and swept-back flat bars. Lightest hybrid I’ve ever lifted!

This Orbea is a new long distance touring bike, because it has fender and rack mounts and clearance for larger tires, and the disc brakes are suposed to be for better stoping, and more power in wet conditions. Also, although this bike is very heavy for a carbon bike the shimano wheels that come stock are tanks, and considerable amounts of wheight can be removed by adding a better wheelset, and for a full carbon bike with decent components it retail for surpisingly cheap $1800ish for the most basic model. needles to say the fram is still well built and can be built up nicley

They eff’ed it up royal.  130mm rear spacing on a disc compatible bike. so close and yet…

I bought this bike three weeks ago for my daily commute.  Maybe I can add some perspective.
My former commuter bike was a converted mountain bike.  It weighed 60 pounds when fully loaded with panniers.  That’s a lot of weight for a 50 mile round trip.  The Diem cuts the weight by more than half.  So even if it is heavier than a typical road bike, it is great for a long daily commute.
In addition, the flat bars are utilitarian.  Sometimes I commute on my carbon fiber road bike.  The drop handlebars are more dangerous than anything, especially on a dark ride.  Six weeks ago, I crashed into a kid who was riding his bike with no lights or reflectors, while it was pitch black.  Even though it was dark, I might have seen him had I been seated a little more upright, like I do on the Diem.  With the flat bars, I have excellent field of vision.
I will keep my Madone for my regular cycling habit, but the Diem is perfect for commuting.  I love it.


Thank you for commenting—the bike confused us and the readers, but does win points for being different and I get the weight thing. Even with the Cargonistas, making bikes that are lighter means fasters, more efficient cargo rides or commutes. Example is the entire Novara line could go on a diet, same as Dahon and the other urban bikes. They don’t need to weigh what a Madone does, but knocking off a few pounds is better for everyone. I’ve even commented that maybe we should see more carbon in urban bikes for stiffness and weight. Nothing bugs me more than a flexy urban bike made with shit aluminum.

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